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Stada CEO Calls For Dialogue As Satisfaction With European Health Systems Declines

Executive Summary

Almost half of Europeans are now dissatisfied with their national health systems, a recent survey by Stada finds. Company CEO Peter Goldschmidt urges for dialogue with governments and health ministries to see how self-care can help “build resilient health systems for the years to come.”

Dialogue between the consumer health industry and government is crucial to reverse the continuing decline in satisfaction with health systems among European citizens, argues Stada Arzneimittel CEO Peter Goldschmidt.

Speaking at the launch of the 2024 Stada Health Report, which finds satisfaction with healthcare systems at an “all-time low,” Goldschmidt said that “open dialogue, based on empirical data” was key to “building resilient health systems for the years to come.”

Only 56% of respondents to Stada’s latest survey of 46,033 people across 23 European countries, conducted by Human8, said they were satisfied with the public health system in their country.

“Europeans’ satisfaction with their national healthcare systems is falling. Indeed, barely one in two Europeans is now happy with the level of service they receive, down from three in four satisfied citizens just five years ago,” Goldschmidt commented.

“I’m not really surprised, the trend is obvious,” Goldschmidt added. “People in these countries are waiting for answers but the answers are not there.”

Access Key

Across Europe, difficulties in getting doctors’ appointments were cited as a major reason for this dissatisfaction, followed by a general lack of trust in health authorities, privatization of public health systems and lack of access to preventative health services.

Satisfaction dropped most notably in the UK, with the country losing 11 percentage points since Stada’s last heath report in 2023 – “likely fueled by post-pandemic pressure on the UK National Health Service,” the company suggested – and in Germany, which lost nine percentage points in the year. (Also see "Over A Quarter Of EU Consumers Increase Supplement Intake But Financial Pressures Take Toll" - HBW Insight, 20 Sep, 2023.)

In countries where levels of satisfaction remain high, like Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands, by contrast, access to healthcare professionals, affordable medicines and preventative health services were cited as positives.

In Belgium, Stada has an active dialogue with the local health ministry, Goldschmidt noted.

Self-Care Solution

Given the link to availability of medicines and preventative health services, satisfaction with healthcare systems “could be linked to regular self-care,” Stada suggests in its report.

“People who regularly engage in self-care are more likely to be happy with the healthcare system than those who reportedly do little to support their own health,” the company writes.

The good news is that 89% of Europeans currently engage in activities to support their overall wellbeing. Behind physical exercise and healthy eating, taking vitamins and nutritional supplements is one of the most popular such activities.

Just under a third of Europeans surveyed by Stada said they take such products, with VMS use in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland higher than average. 


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